MYKOPLUS MAKES SOIL HEALTH­IER AND IN­CREASES YIELD

Agriculture - - Awardees -

RE­CENT STUD­IES show that live or la­tent cells of ef­fi­cient strains of micro­organ­isms en­hance growth and yield of crops, and help re­me­di­ate soil fer­til­ity prob­lems. These micro­organ­isms are pre­pared as mi­cro­bial in­oc­u­lants or biofer­til­iz­ers. MykoPlus is a multi-strain and multi-species biofer­til­izer de­vel­oped by Dr. Jocelyn T. Zarate and her team from the Na­tional In­sti­tute of Molec­u­lar Bi­ol­ogy and Biotech­nol­ogy at the Univer­sity of the Philip­pines Los Baños. In ad­di­tion to my­c­or­rhizal fungi, MykoPlus also con­tains ben­e­fi­cial bac­te­ria that in­clude ni­tro­gen fix­ers, phos­pho­rous sol­u­bi­liz­ers, and growth hor­mone se­cre­tors.

In a two-sea­son farmer’s field trial in Is­abela and Ca­gayan, re­sults showed that coat­ing corn seeds with the pow­dered MykoPlus in­oc­u­lant prior to sow­ing en­hanced the crop’s abil­ity to as­sim­i­late nu­tri­ents.

A 30% sav­ings on the use of rec­om­mended chem­i­cal fer­til­izer was also re­al­ized. Yield was higher or com­pa­ra­ble to crops re­ceiv­ing 100% rec­om­mended rate of chem­i­cal fer­til­izer alone.

Soil anal­y­sis af­ter the crop­ping sea­son showed that soil pH for fields that used MykoPlus was not as low as that of crops that did not use it. Higher resid­ual ni­tro­gen and phos­pho­rus in the soil was also noted.

In Manaoag, Pan­gasi­nan, farm­ers us­ing MykoPlus ob­served

in rootcrops, abaca, co­conut, fruits and veg­eta­bles, rice and corn, forestry, en­vi­ron­ment, and fish­eries, among oth­ers.

Sev­eral knowl­edge prod­ucts were al­ready gen­er­ated. Re­search tech­nolo­gies which in­clude new va­ri­eties of rootcrops, co­conuts, and corn, food prod­ucts and bi-prod­ucts, re­search tech­niques and pro­to­cols, and other ba­sic in­for­ma­tion have been sub­mit­ted for pro­tec­tion/patent­ing.

Many of these have been pre­sented in sci­en­tific dis­cus­sions, pub­lished in ref­er­eed jour­nals, and dis­sem­i­nated through techno demo, train­ing, and IEC ma­te­ri­als.

THE RE­CIP­I­ENT OF THE TANGLAW AWARD

Is­abela State Univer­sity (ISU), lo­cated in Ech­ague, Is­abela, is this year’s Tanglaw awardee. ISU is the host or base agency of three prom­i­nent re­gional cen­ters: the Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Re­gional Re­search Cen­ter (HERRC) un­der the CHED, the Ca­gayan Val­ley Agri­cul­tural and Aquatic Re­sources Re­search and De­vel­op­ment (CVAARD) un­der the PCAARRD-DOST, and the Ca­gayan Val­ley Small Ru­mi­nants Re­search Cen­ter (CVSRRC).

Hav­ing been cho­sen as a base agency is a recog­ni­tion of ISU’s su­pe­ri­or­ity and dom­i­nance among HEIs in the re­gion in terms of ca­pa­bil­ity in re­search man­age­ment and sci­en­tific un­der­tak­ings. The univer­sity’s strong R&D ca­pa­bil­ity can be seen in the that their crops had en­hanced root­ing, taller shoots, greater yield, and bet­ter sur­vival rates of the pro­longed flood­ing brought about by typhoons. It was also found to be good for rice, sorghum, cas­sava, and veg­eta­bles. With rice, more filled grains were ob­served, lead­ing to heav­ier grain yield.

The syn­er­gis­tic in­ter­ac­tion of the my­c­or­rhizal fungi and bac­te­ria in MykoPlus brings about these good re­sults. How­ever, the most im­por­tant ef­fect of ap­ply­ing the biofer­til­izer is that it cre­ates a di­verse pop­u­la­tion of ben­e­fi­cial mi­crobes. The con­tin­u­ous ap­pli­ca­tion of ben­e­fi­cial mi­crobes such as those in MykoPlus brings back life to soils dam­aged by re­peated and heavy ap­pli­ca­tion of chem­i­cal in­puts.

Cur­rently, the Depart­ment of Science and Tech­nol­ogy’s Philip­pine Coun­cil for Agri­cul­ture, Aquatic and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Re­search and De­vel­op­ment (DOST-PCAARRD) is fund­ing the “MykoPlus tech­nol­ogy pro­mo­tion and demon­stra­tion tri­als for yel­low corn and egg­plant,” a com­po­nent pro­ject of the pro­gram, “De­vel­op­ment and pro­mo­tion of new and en­hanced biofer­til­iz­ers, bios­tim­u­lants, and biopes­ti­cides for in­creased crop pro­duc­tiv­ity.” (Butch S. Pag­cali­wa­gan, DOSTPCAARRD S&T Media Ser­vice)

in­sti­tu­tion­al­iza­tion of 10 R&D cen­ters which from Jan­uary to June in 2014, gen­er­ated sci­en­tific knowl­edge and in­no­va­tions that are lo­cally re­spon­sive and glob­ally com­pet­i­tive.

Presently, the ISU is the seat of at least 12 R&D cen­ters and lab­o­ra­to­ries. More than 40 tech­nolo­gies/sig­nif­i­cant in­for­ma­tion were gen­er­ated by the univer­sity; over 20 util­ity mod­els and trade­marks were granted, while over 10 pend­ing patents were ap­plied for.

The univer­sity im­ple­ments an av­er­age of 18 projects/pro­grams per year. ISU has re­ceived 104 ma­jor and mi­nor na­tional awards and three in­sti­tu­tional awards.

THE PCAARRD’S R&D OUT­PUT

Fol­low­ing the event was an ex­hibit at the same venue which fea­tured the R&D out­puts of the PCAARRD’s funded re­search ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing science and tech­nol­ogy in­ter­ven­tions in value-adding ini­tia­tives.

Ac­cord­ing to Dr. Eb­ora, the event man­i­fests the PCAARRD’s stance in max­i­miz­ing science and tech­nol­ogy po­ten­tials to at­tain sus­tained growth in the AANR sec­tors. It makes avail­able high­end sciences and tech­nolo­gies, cre­ates im­pact on the lives of its stake­hold­ers, pro­duces a ca­pa­ble R&D work­force, and cre­ates a healthy re­search and de­vel­op­ment en­vi­ron­ment.

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